Last week Mrs B said something about losing your identity after having children. I never really thought to much of it until I got news that a friend, who I hadn’t seen in a while, had passed away.
Now I know Mrs B didn’t mean that the children had stolen her life, but I think she felt that all we do is focus on the kids and not on ourselves or each other.
When I heard the news about my friend, I got upset, as normal people do when they hear news like that. But it had much more of an impact on me, more than I thought it would, as we had grown apart slightly over the last few years. I had a hard time believing the news but then my sadness gave way to annoyance. I was annoyed at myself because we had been close friends but due to different things in our lives, we had less and less contact. I was beating myself up, thinking “if only I had done this” or “if only I had said that.” Unfortunately, beating yourself up doesn’t change anything.
Then I remembered the comment Mrs B had said to me last week.
As a parent, I put most (if not all!) of my focus onto the boys. I have not made time for myself, my wife, my extended family or my friends. Now I know that as a parent our identity changes somewhat to become the protector, provider, educator & safe keeper of our children. This is what we signed up to the day we decided to have children. I would not change it for anything, my boys will always be my main focus.
But I think the point of me writing this blog is that although life is busy, especially when we have children, we are people in our own right. We need to remember that before we had children, we liked to do other stuff, that didn’t include thinking about whether sh1t has seeped out of the nappy or not. We are made to have interactions with other adults, not just at the school run. Before children, I would have met up with friends regularly or took my wife out in a date when I felt like it. I know that I can still do all of this, but it seems so much harder, more inconvenient or too tiring because I’ve been up since 4 in the morning. That’s before I would even start thinking about babysitters etc.
I think I have just realised that we, as parents, need to make time to have date nights, meet up with friends or have a day where we focus on ourselves & our adult relationships. It doesn’t mean that we are neglecting our children, we just need time away from the constant neediness of kids. I think this could help me become a better Dad, as I would have more patience or wouldn’t look at them as if they are sucking the life out of me, which may seem a bit strong, but that’s how I feel sometimes.
The reason I have children, is because Mrs B & I decided that we wanted a family. I wanted a family with her because she is the love of my life & she is my person. So why should I neglect the relationship with the person I wanted to have kids with to focus completely on the kids? It doesn’t make sense. One of the reasons that I was able to marry my wife was the support of my friends, through the hard times or when I was being a d1ck, they would give me the kick up the ass I needed. But ever since getting married & having kids, I have made less & less time for them, which maybe is normal, but something that now doesn’t feel right to me.
Something needs to change.
I’m not saying that I am going to start neglecting the kids for the sake of myrelationship with my wife or friends, but I need to find a balance.
Why can’t I have time for all the people that matter to me?
I blame myself for this because I have focussed so much attention & energy on the children that I couldn’t be bothered planning to do something with them or think I will just do it another time, sure they will understand. I have been taking them for granted.
My wife & my children are my world, I would do anything for them, but I have friends & family who have been with me through sh1t times, who I have cried with, laughed with and even ran naked through the street with me. I need to make time for them all.
I have learned this the hard way. I have lost a friend, who I had so much love for. He was a unique, special, funny & slightly crazy person. He was always there when I needed him or to laugh at me when I done something stupid. I will always regret not making time for him in the last few years. I hope that I never make the same mistake again.
Bearded with boys